Archive for February 2008

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Gibril going, going … gone?

Giants Rumors & News

Giants’ fans don’t want to hear this, but … the Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo seems to think there is a good chance the team will lose Gibril Wilson.

From Garafolo:

Wilson is looking is looking for a contract that will pay in the $5 mil per year range. The Giants, much as they’d like to have him back, aren’t going to match that number. To them, that would be overpaying a guy who’s a decent safety but not one of the elite. (Not that Wilson is asking for a Bob Sanders-like, $7 mil-plus per year deal, but still his expectations are up there.)
This means the Eagles and Jags — and likely a few other teams — are officially licking their chops to get a crack at Wilson, who could easily take a short drive down to Philly and step right into a defense that is very similar to the Giants’ scheme.

Garafolo seems to think that the Giants need to get Wilson’s signature on a contract before free agency starts or face the …

Sather’s Deadline Good, Not Good Enough

Rangers Rumors & News

There was a lot to love and a lot to hate for Ranger fans at this year’s trade deadline. In that way, maybe it mirrored the team itself. Don’t get me wrong, Ranger fans aren’t complaining after seven dark and dismal years without a sniff of the postseason. Nevertheless, it would be naive to think that all of the organization’s problems have been solved.

Despite that the NHL lockout was engineered to save small market clubs, few teams in the league benefitted more from the work stoppage than the Rangers, who were finally presented with the impetus to tear down their crusty core of overpaid veterans and rebuild with youth – a trend that continued this week as the team chose to hold onto its rookies and prospects rather than deal them for a rental player such as Marian Hossa or Brian Campbell.

But despite the team’s prudent restraint, GM Glen Sather doesn’t get a “Get Out of Jail Free” card anymore than the Knicks’ Isiah …

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Vilma Takes Physical For Lions | Shaun Rogers On Jets’ Radar?

Jets Rumors & News

Big news for Gang Green today as the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma was in Detroit today for a physical. How does that work exactly with a player rehabbing from surgery? Are they just looking for structural stability? I don’t have the answer, though according to Vilma’s web site, he has begun jogging and hopes to be running at full speed in about a month.

Last week we told you that the Jets had given their defensive captain permission to seek a trade, as rookie David Harris proved a better fit for Eric Mangini’s 3-4 scheme during Vilma’s injury absence last season. The Jaguars, Saints, and Rams had all been mentioned as possible destinations for the linebacker, however, one would have to assume that Detroit has emerged as the frontrunner at this point.

According to JetsCentral, Gang Green has expressed an interest in Lions nose tackle Shaun Rogers, who has also been linked to the Broncos. …

Rangers Play It Safe At Trade Deadline

Rangers Rumors & News

Rangers fans were hoping for a big splash during yesterday’s trade deadline. What they got instead were a pair of minor deals which will only help the team incrementally.

For the first deal of the day, Glen Sather brought in 27-year-old Christian Backman from St. Louis in exchange for a forth-round pick. Backman is a former first round draft pick in 1998 and has spent some time this month on the injured reserve as the result of a chipped bone in his foot after blocking a shot February 1.

Backman is not the first-pair defenseman most fans craved, however he will fill in for Paul Mara for the next two weeks while he recovers from facial surgery. Also this move also means the Rangers will not have to use Jason Strudwick during the playoffs and Backman and Marek Malik will compete for the sixth defensive spot on the roster.

The other deal the Rangers pulled off was a five-player swap with the Phoenix Coyotes. …

Mets Hope Kunz Rules

Mets Rumors & News

Today in the Daily News, John Harper decides to jinx one of the Mets’ nice young arms, writing that in 6’5″ reliever Eddie Kunz, the Mets believe they have a candidate to pursue the trail blazed by Joba Chamberlain in the Bronx last season, rocketing from A-ball to become a dominant major league reliever in his first pro season. Writes Harper:

This time of year, baseball people are always looking for the next phenom. But after what happened in the Bronx last season, there is a new way of defining that search.

Now they’re looking for the next Joba.

Kunz is one of those rare high draft picks who was actually selected with an eye toward the pen rather than the rotation. Kunz served as closer for two-time NCAA champion Oregon State before his draft selection by the Mets last June, and for what it’s worth, he appears to be taking the right attitude to all the hype.

He’s a confident, personable 21-year-old who is thinking big, hoping to make such an …

Are You Ready For Some Grapefruit?

Mets Rumors & News

Today marks the “official” beginning of Grapefruit League play for the Mets, however the team has been busy on the baseball diamond since the start of the week.

On Monday, the team played an intrasquad game down in Port St. Lucie on a minor league field dubbed Field 7, which incidentally has been reconfigured to mimic the dimensions of Citi Field (Tradition Field is unlikely undergo a similar makeover due to various logistical problems, including the elimination of a popular lawn area in right field).

The highlight of the game was Duaner Sanchez, who took the mound and faced live hitters in a game situation for the first time in nearly two years, prompting pitching coach Rick Peterson to remark, “It was like walking across the desert step-by-step and today he finally got to the oasis.”

Said Sanchez: “It’s been so long I don’t even know how to step on the freakin’ mound.”

Sanchez is a story that everyone will be monitoring as camp progresses since everyone agrees his health and effectiveness is critical to the success …

Isles Look Dull Yet “Kid” Line Shines

Islanders Rumors & News

As I sat down in my cousin’s room last night to watch the game, I could not help but think that the Islanders had a great shot at winning. For one thing, Chris Simon would not be on the ice. Another method behind my madness was that the Penguins were missing two starters in Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen. But alas, I was proven wrong. Out-shooting the Penguins 52-21 meant nothing as the Islanders lost their 2nd straight game 4-2.

 After an eventful trade deadline for the Penguins in which they acquired sharpshooter Marian Hossa, the Pens came out flat. The Islanders dominated the majority of the play in the 1st period but found themselves down 2-0 on goals by Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Taffe.

After trading away their lone power play option in the form of Marc Andre Bergeron, the Islanders power play, looked powerless. The Islanders were given 4 power plays in the 1st period including 1:34 of a 5 on 3.  But the Islanders were barely able to keep the puck in the offensive zone. …

Right Direction to Where?

Knicks Rumors & News

Since walking through the doors of Madison Square Garden on December 22nd, 2003, Isiah Thomas has promised Knicks fan a new era; one filled with hope, laced with championship banners aligning the Garden’s rafters.  Four years later and we’re still waiting.

According to Frank Isola of the Daily News, “Thomas was reluctant to make any moves before last Thursday’s trade deadline because ‘he didn’t want to break anything up’ and that ‘the team was headed in the right direction.'”

Excuse me, direction to where? As of right now, the Knicks have no plan nor direction. 

Even the Miami Heat, the worst team in the league, have some semblance of hope. Their unloading of Shaquille O’Neal cleared up cap space and enabled the team to have the flexablity to make some decision down the road.

However, unlike the Heat, Thomas’ inactivity and dogged stubborness, assures next season to be just as harsh as this one. The rebuilding process, which should have started years earlier, is only being delayed.

Sure Thomas stock piled the Knicks with tremendous individual talents but …

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Bye Bye Bergie

Islanders Rumors & News is reporting that the Islanders have sent defenseman Marc Andre Bergeron  to the Anaheim Ducks for a 3rd round draft choice.

Bergeron was the only threat the Islanders had on the power play this year. GM Garth Snow said he was not going to “sell” his players. I wonder what he calls this?

Rangers Deal Montoya, Li’l Hossa

Rangers Rumors & News

The Rangers have dealt goaltending prospect Al Montoya and forward Marcel Hossa to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Fredrik Sjostrom, David Leneveu, and Josh Gratton.

I’m not sure if there were still any fans out there that believed Montoya was considered a blue-chip prospect – especially after the former first-round pick lost his job in Hartford this season to the unheralded Miika Wiikman. Nevertheless, this is a blow to a franchise that, at the very least, expected to be able to spin the highly-touted Montoya for a valuable asset in the wake of Henrik Lundqvist’s emergence as a premier NHL netminder.

Instead, the goaltender has been swapped for a few equally under-performing prospects, rendering Montoya, along with Hugh Jessiman, another utter bust of a first-round draft selection in the Glen Sather era. It begs the question why Montoya wasn’t moved sooner, even last season, when Lundvist was so clearly the organization’s franchise goalie.

Thank God for Marc Staal.

Islanders Rumors & News

It is being reported that the Islanders have traded one of my favorite players, Chris Simon, to the Minnesota Wild for a 6th round draft pick.

Goodbye Chris, it has not been a pleasure

Hossa To the Pens Headlines NHL Deadline Day

Right at the buzzer, Pittsburgh acquires Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis in exchange for Angelo Esposito, Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, and a 1st Round Pick.

All day the teams that you’ve been hearing have been Montreal and Ottawa. Now Pittsburgh swoops in at the last moment to steal the spotlight. I hate to say it, especially about a division rival, but nice work, you tuxedoed fowls.

As far as deadlines go, especially in a salary cap era, today was fairly eventful. Here are some other news of note:

Ottawa acquired some leadership and toughness in the form of Martin Lapointe, but they’d hoped to land Hossa and failed miserably.

Toronto is in full-on rebuilding mode. Unfortunately, all their major assets have no-trade clauses, and no one wants to waive them. As a result, only Wade Belak and Chad Kilger were on the move today, heading to Florida, God knows why.

The Capitals acquired goalie Cristobal Huet from Montreal in the first of a trio of moves that clearly signaled that the …

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